# Tuesday, 25 March 2014

If you’re interested in the Visual Studio 2013 launch demo apps then be sure to take a look here. There are six as we speak and each comes with an interesting showcase and quick architecture overview like this one for example:

Simplified Architecture

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014 20:30:47 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 04 April 2013
# Monday, 09 July 2012

The cloud is everywhere and now also in book format. I just noticed that Microsoft has put a couple of free books available about:

WindowsAzurePrescriptiveGuidance
Windows Azure Prescriptive Guidance provides you with some of the best practices and recommendations for working with the Windows Azure platform. Categories cover planning, designing, developing, and managing a variety of different types of Windows Azure applications, including mobile, enterprise, and consumer-based applications. It also provides guidance for developers using non-.NET applications, libraries, and stacks with Windows Azure.

E-book publication date: May 2012
422 pages
EPUB| MOBI| PDF| Source content

WindowsAzureServiceBusReference

The Windows Azure Service Bus provides a hosted, secure, and widely available infrastructure for widespread communication, large-scale event distribution, naming, and service publishing. The Service Bus provides connectivity options for Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) and other service endpoints – including REST endpoints -- that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to reach. Endpoints can be located behind network address translation (NAT) boundaries, or bound to frequently-changing, dynamically-assigned IP addresses, or both.

E-book publication date: May 2012
260 pages
EPUB| MOBI| PDF| Source content

If you’re interested in more, lots more, of such free ebooks be sure to checkout: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/11608.e-book-gallery-for-microsoft-technologies.aspx.

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 09 July 2012 12:11:40 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Thursday, 05 July 2012

I noticed on Twitter several people asking for this. However if you know the steps it’s pretty easy. So simply follow along and get the Orchard party started.

Preparation step – Set up a database

Normally one would simply deploy Orchard, make use of the built in SQL CE database and get going. However if you want to scale out, which is very easy in Windows Azure Web Sites, then it’s nothing more but logical to make use of a dedicated database for all deployed instances to keep your data in sync.

To accomplish this simply navigate to the portal and select from the left side menu the option SQL DATABASES. Click on the CREATE A SQL DATABASE.

Give it a meaningful name:

orchardonazure02

Then provide a login name and a password (make sure to make up a good one):

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After the creation you can take a look at the details of the database and either stay on the first page or go to the DASHBOARD. Here you can see the connectionstring which is needed later on so be sure to copy that down or know where you can find it in the portal once you need it:

orchardonazure04

Ok, that concludes for the first part, let’s move on to the next one.

Preparation step – Create the new Web Site

Either make use of the big + sign in the lower left of the portal or click on CREATE A WEB SITE from the WEB SITES menu item in the portal. Select the FROM GALLERY and in there select Orchard CMS:

orchardonazure05

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Configure the application you’re about to set up. Give it a unique name and select a region:

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Let it spin and after a while you’ll notice the message that your site has been created. You can look up the web site in the portal:

orchardonazure08

 

Preparation step – Link the database with the Web Site

Ok, now while in that last screen select LINKED RESOURCES. From there on create a new one by clicking on LINK A RESOURCE:

orchardonazure09

Select for the option Link an existing resource and select there for the SQL Database option:

orchardonazure10

In the next screen select the database which was created in the first preparation step:

orchardonazure11

Provide the LOGIN NAME and LOGIN PASSWORD and finish.

Final step – Run the Web Site

Ok, we made it this far already which is great. Now select in the left hand menu the item WEB SITES. In the last column of the overview of your web sites select the url and let a new browser window open:

orchardonazure12

This is the oh-so-familiar startup screen of Orchard CMS itself. Fill in the required fields but instead of opting for the standard selected SQL Server Compact, select Use an existing SQL Server (or SQL Express) database.

Remember I told you to copy the connection string earlier on? Well, here’s where it’s needed. Fill in the connectionstring and make sure you fill in the right password as well. I chose for the default recipe for Orchard in my case and then clicked the Finish Setup button. Let the recipe cook up the Orchard CMS website and you’re in business:

orchardonazure13

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to do if you know the steps.

Checking the database

If you want you can connect to your database server and open the MyOrchardDB database. Be sure however to add the IP address you’re using at this moment in the firewall rules or else you won’t be able to connect to it. The portal will provide a warning and an option to directly add your current IP address to the allowed list which is a nice feature.

As you can see all the needed tables where created when cooking the recipe to be able to run Orchard CMS:

orchardonazure14

Grz, Kris.

Thursday, 05 July 2012 12:35:15 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 04 July 2012

When deleting a VM from your Windows Azure account as you might not need it anymore and you want to cut down on costs you can simply navigate to the portal, select the VM and press the Delete icon at the bottom:

storagedeletionerror01

That’s only the VM but when I set it up initially I chose to have a the Storage account to be auto generated. As a good housekeeper I didn’t only want to delete the VM but also the associated Storage as that might also still incur costs which I don’t want.

However when I tried to do so I got the following:

storagedeletionerror02

Clicking the i for more information it gave me the following error message:

Storage account portalvhds0xgvcb5chg1gf has 1 container(s) which have an active image and/or disk artifacts. Ensure those artifacts are removed from the image repository before deleting this storage account.

Descriptive, but not really showing what I needed. It turned out to be that there’s also still a disk attached to the VM, but there was no indication in the portal that there was still something lying around. Simply navigating to Virtual Machines > Disks showed the associated disk:

storagedeletionerror03

Deleting this one and then going to the storage overview again I could delete the extra storage without problems:

storagedeletionerror04

I gave this back as feedback to the people at Microsoft and apparently it was listed as a bug but not yet taken care off. I’m sure it’ll be ironed out soon but in the mean time you can simply follow this little check to make sure you don’t have to pay extra costs when deleting a VM in total.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 04 July 2012 19:28:37 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Saturday, 30 June 2012

Today, and also tomorrow, I’m attending the Windows Azure Train The Trainer in Amsterdam. This is a Microsoft led gathering of Windows Azure enthusiasts getting together to get information directly from the Evangelists team, do hands on labs and interact.

20120630_151239

Grz, Kris.

Saturday, 30 June 2012 14:35:43 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 29 June 2012

As many of you out there I wasn’t able to attend Tech Ed North America 2012 either so I couldn’t go to all the cool sessions showing off about the newly released features of Windows Azure. Luckily for you and me Channel 9 has put all the recordings available for watching and/or downloading: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012?sort=status&direction=asc&t%5B0%5D=windows%2Bazure#tab_sortBy_status.

Here’s everything directly:

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 29 June 2012 06:28:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Friday, 08 June 2012

Yesterday evening, after giving a course about HTML 5 myself at Ordina, I drove to Microsoft Belgium to watch the announcements about Windows Azure. Scott Guthrie did a cool recap of all the new features and demoed these in all clarity. There’s a great load of new stuff shipping into Azure. Most notably the new IaaS and Windows Azure Web Sites. Besides that it became clear that the old Silverlight portal, which was pretty slow, has been put into the background and replaced by a great fresh and modern looking HTML 5 portal. Kudos to the design team behind it!

If you want to view the screencast again of what’s been announced be sure to check it out here: http://www.meetwindowsazure.com/Conversations#ScottGuthrieMeet.

There was a really nice atmosphere at Microsoft Belgium as you can see:

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The new Portal:

windowsazureportal

Grz, Kris.

Friday, 08 June 2012 19:52:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Today I got the news that I became a Windows Azure Insider. For me that was great news as now I can collaborate with Microsoft and other Insiders about my findings when experimenting and working with the Windows Azure platform. As I’m now, besides being an ASP.NET MVP / ASP Insider, also close to the Windows Azure teams at Microsoft I’m able to get more information/feedback up close and personal. I’m convinced this will help me to help out the community and clients I work for.

Windows Azure

Grz, Kris.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 23:14:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The last months were pretty quiet around ScottGu but yesterday evening, for us Belgian people, there was a great and lengthy streamed event about Windows Azure. As I’m the competence center leader of the Azure Cloud Computing team at Ordina Belgium I took the opportunity to gather up with colleagues, ordered pizza and made a great evening.

I’m glad to see this kind of events happening. They provide excellent coverage about the topic, starting out in a way that newcomers can follow with ease but also introducing the latest and greatest tooling and progress the Windows Azure platform has made during the last months. There’s also a ton of great news on the fronts of having people with skills other than .NET being served as well. Node.js, Java, PHP and other technologies get attention. That’s just awesome!

The Windowsazure.com website also got a major update with that nice looking Metro style sauce over it.

In the past people sometimes feared testing the cloud for budget reasons. Even a colleague of mine once had to find out the hard way that when you shut down an instance but keep the deployment you also keep on getting charged. Microsoft now releases a new way to explore Azure for 3 months but with a spending limit. According to me that promises a safer way to spend researching Azure.

Grz, Kris.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011 14:25:54 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
# Monday, 12 December 2011

Recently the 1.6 version of the SDK came out and that usually is followed up by a new version of the training toolkit. You can grab the latest version here.

The December 2011 update of the training kit includes the following updates:

  • [New Presentations] 33 updated/new PowerPoint presentations
  • [New Hands-On lab] Running a parametric sweep application with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler
  • [New Hands-On lab] Running SOA Services with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler
  • [New Hands-On lab] Running MPI Applications with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler
  • [New Demo] Node.js On Windows Azure
  • [New Demo] Image Rendering Parametric Sweep Application with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler
  • [New Demo] BLAST Parametric Sweep Application with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler
  • [Renamed Lab] Connecting Applications through Windows Azure Service Bus (formerly Introduction to Service Bus Part 1)
  • [Renamed Lab] Windows Azure Service Bus Advanced Configurations (formerly Introduction to Service Bus Part 2)

Grz, Kris.

Monday, 12 December 2011 20:15:22 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |